Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Montanan Arctic and Laurence The Blind Cyclone

A few notes of interest:

Continued cold weather in Montana... thanks to a nice, deep Arctic airmass that dropped south out of Canada. I've listed the low temperatures in Montana for the past few days. Check posts from last week to see the days prior. The downslope has finally mixed across the plains creating what one could "sort of" call a warm front, but this should allow for most temperatures in Montana to stay above zero for the first time since late November. The only exception may be an area of cold air pooled along the Milk River in north central Montana where temperatures are currently in the single digits.

11th: -19ºF - Simpson 19N
12th: -16ºF - Gold Butte 17N
13th: -22ºF - Opheim 10N
14th: -31ºF - Valentine
15th: -40ºF - Jordan
16th: -37ºF - Westby

In the tropics...

... things are fairly quiet. 06S Laurence is now inland in wild northwestern Australia and back down around 65kts will continuing to disipate. This was an interesting storm as at its max intensity of 115kt, it did not have an eye, or at least not one that was apparent on satellite.

And elsewhere, I would comment on Monday's severe weather event in the deep south and how SPC missed the boat, but apparently it's not okay to criticize those responsible for warning the public of threatening weather information, even when it is in fact tax dollars that pay their salaries.


Monday, December 14, 2009

06S Laurence Skimming Australia

... luckily in an almost completely uninhabited area ...


Sunday, December 13, 2009

55kt Tropical Cyclone 04P Mick Making Landfall In Fiji

Radar/Sat imagery below the forecast plot...

More local "Mick" info:

Fiji Meteorological Service
(animated radar imagery found at that site)

Southern Pacific Overview:

Laurence has the potential for rapid development:

Elsewhere in the Indian, North & South:

So yeah, the tropics are a bit active.

Warm here in Denver today ... windy and downslopy.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Below Zero Temps, A Cloudy Future For Cleo and Big Sky Convection Milestone

Since the blizzard didn't really effect me (except occupationally since we covered it on air at work), I'm going to hit on the cold air that has invaded the Northern Rockies. Frequent readers of this blog realize that I'm rather Montana and Colorado-centric and this entry is no exception.

I have been tracking the temperatures very closely across Montana during the "arctic outbreak" if you will. As shown in the chart below, it's been below zero at some location in Montana for the past twelve days. While very cold, this isn't unprecedented. In fact, I was unable to locate mention of any records being broken. Yes, it can be that cold in Montana sometimes.

10th: -25ºF at Valentine
9th: -35ºF at Dunkirk 19NNE
8th: -37ºF at Cascade 20SSE and at Simpson 6N
7th: -30ºF at Wisdom
6th: -16ºF at West Yellowstone Gate
5th: -17ºF at West Yellowstone Gate
4th: -26ºF at West Yellowstone Gate
3rd: -28ºF at Wisdom
2nd: -31ºF at West Yellowstone Gate
1st: -5ºF at Big Sky 2WNW
30th: -7ºF at West Yellowstone Gate
29th: -8ºF at West Yellowstone Gate

We've been pretty cold in Colorado as well. On the 9th, Denver set a record low of -17ºF, which is pretty cold for this area. The same morning, my thermometer dipped to -7.8ºF, which is the lowest temperature it has recorded in the past two years. It should be noted also that the thermometer is thermally influenced by my apartment building and is located at second story height, above the deepest reaches of the inversion.

Now for something a little warmer. I've been a little busy lately and haven't been able to keep up with all the happenings in the tropics, but we did have a Very Intense Tropical Cyclone (Cleo) in the Southern Indian Ocean this week. The storm peaked at 115kt but has now shed her convection and remains a 45kt storm.

Finally, this blog reached a milestone today with its 20,000th visitor! Thanks everybody for reading and stopping by!


Monday, December 07, 2009

Cleo In The Indian And Thoughts Across The US

Well... an awful lot of noise out there about the storm that is taking shape here in the US. I believe most of the fanfare warranted. Most, but not all. The models are moving this system quickly and thus I don't expect much of an impact here in the Denver metro. Sure, we'll see some snowfall, mostly very light powdery stuff, but I'm just not convinced we'll see a big event. It looks like the storm will come out of the mountains and redevelop out east, sparing us the brunt. Now to the east ... Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa ... well that's a different story. Hope you're all stocked up on provisions!

Elsewhere, VERY cold air will intrude into Montana tonight. Well, it's already there, but the cold axis which brought lows in the -35ºF range throughout most of northern Alberta yesterday will be over Montana tomorrow morning. Some NWS point forecasts have areas in Montana below -40ºF tonight.


Well, let's warm up a bit and talk briefly about Cleo. She's in the Southern Indian Ocean in open water. Given the nice pinhole eye, I wouldn't be surprised to see her amped up a bit more than forecast on the next advisory.

Anyway, that's it for now.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Super Typhoon Nida Possibly The Deepest Tropical Cyclone On Record

As Super Typhoon Nida (26W) continues to churn in the Philippine Sea northwest of the Northern Mariana Islands and south of the Volcano Islands (Iwo/Jima) with 140kt (161mph) winds, questions remain as to the exact maximum intensity of this storm. Unlike in the Atlantic Ocean where hurricane hunter aircraft send dropsondes into tropical cyclones to ascertain intensity, storms in the West Pacific must be analyzed by remote sensing technologies. One of the manners in which this is done is by using the Advanced Dvorak Technique (ADT) (more information here) According to this technique at approximately 2332Z on November 25th, Nida bottomed out at 869.3mb which would move the storm past Super Typhoon Tip as the deepest tropical cyclone on record (Tip was measured at 870mb).

It's tough to tell whether there will ever be a consensus on this as some of the same questions (apparently) were raised during the reign of Cyclone Monica north of Australia in 2006. Any way you look at it though, Nida is one hell of a storm!

Currently, the storm is a little lost. Various models and forecast agencies are taking her to the west over the next 24 hours. JTWC is recurving the storm to the northwest, though ... which is contrary to most other forecasts. I actually agree with them given the overall synoptic pattern, so we'll see. If they're right, the storm will pass between South Iwo Jima (the southernmost of the Volcano Islands) and Farallon de Pajaros (the northernmost of the Northern Mariana Islands), hopefully harmlessly. If the models/agencies are correct, then who knows! Given that the storm is fairly stationary, however, the upwelling generated by the storm should slowly weaken it.

Here is some current information on the storm:

JTWC's track

JMA's track

The storm briefly restrengthened after an eyewall replacement cycle yesterday to maximum intensity estimates of 899mb(ADT) and 150kt (JTWC). Here is a vapor image at the time:

Other archived imagery of the storm:

MODIS image from early on November 25th

... and this one just happens to be my favorite image of the storm:

Other discussion regarding the storm:
CIMSS Satellite Blog
NASA Hurricanes/Tropical Cyclones
Nida on Storm Track
Nida on Storm2K
ADT Intensity History

Finally, back here along the Footies, we enjoys above 60ºF (Thursday and Friday). It has cooled today with a weak front sweeping south along the Range. We're sitting at about 50ºF here right now and I don't expect it to get any higher. Though we may see a bit of light snow tonight and tomorrow, I'm not expecting much accumulation. What I am *not* looking forward too is the inverted air mass which should stick around for the next few days. The pattern doesn't look to allow much in the way of significant downsloping to help mix out the cold pool.

Found this image on the MODIS site today ... it's from the snow storm that moved through the Central Rockies on November 16th (image is from the 17th). Click for a larger view!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Typhoon Nida Strengthens South Of Guam

Typhoon Nida is giving us quite the snow in the Western Pacific. Winds are now up to 100kt (115mph) and pressure is down to 948mb. The storm continues to move off to the northwest. The near environment is conducive to continuing strengthening but not too far to the north is an area of very dry air. The storm is way above forecast at the moment as the eye tightened rapidly today, so we'll have to see what happens with the next advisory. Wait, scratch that ... as I was typing, the new advisory was issued in light of current analysis. They're bringing it to a 125kt SuperTyphoon before all is said and done. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on it!

Elsewhere, Tropical Depression 27W is done for, nothing much left but some rain.

This area is still being watched for tropical cyclone development:

And finally, in the Southern Indian Ocean, Moderate Tropical Storm Bongani is skirting the northern tip of Madagascar, headed into the Mozambique Channel while slowly losing strength.

Back on the homefront, we had some interesting weather yesterday. On the backside of a system moving into the Central Plains, we got some nice jet-induced convection over the area. The CAA was pretty fierce too, but it was the vertical clouds that kept my attention. Though I didn't personally experience any snow, there were a few showers scattered about.

Should have a dry Thanksgiving around these parts.

Dann Cianca
(Since the overall picture hasn't changed much, I am not including overview tropical satellite imagery today).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Three Storms In The West Pacific And 02S Bongani Moves Through The Outer Seychelles

We have a lot of activity in the tropics! I'll let the images speak for themselves. Click on any for a larger view.

Dann Cianca
Overview tropical satellite imagery provided courtesy of IPS Meteostar.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Western Pacific Heats Up- One Depression, Another On The Way

Things are getting fairly active in the Western Pacific Ocean:

26W looks less impressive than yesterday, shredding its main convective cluster, but the circulation remains. Forecast is still taking it to typhoon strength within the next 24-48hours.

Another area is being monitored for tropical cyclone development. This storm has persisted off the east coast of Mindanao (Philippines) for the past couple of days and is expected amp up on organization over the next few days.

And finally, 96S is still looking strong in the Southern Indian Ocean. The system has passed south of the Seychelles and is continuing westward movement.

Back on the home front, we had a good turnout at CONVERGENCE! last night. Had about twenty people show up which was cool. I know I had a lot of fun!

Weatherwise, we had a weak cold front move through last night. It's keeping temperatures down about 10ºF from yesterday. Could see a little light snow tomorrow but I'm not expecting much in the way of accumulation.

Dann Cianca
Overview tropical satellite imagery provided courtesy of IPS Meteostar.